With the reemergence of blogging as one way to earn money online, affiliate marketing became one of the effective platforms to monetize blogging by having a steady stream of income. It’s a passive way of earning something and making use of your writing or any other creative approach and technical skill.
Especially if your blog has already a huge following then affiliate marketing is a sure way to make this a lucrative business. But before getting into the setting up your blog for the affiliate program, let’s define first what affiliate marketing is.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
In a nutshell, affiliate marketing is selling a product or service of a third party through a blog or website.
The blog owner or the affiliate endorses a product or service he likes and believes that it can be something of use and helpful for other people. The blog owner or affiliate then earns profit through the sale made from clicking the referral link which will bring the consumer to buy the product or avail the service.
Why Affiliate Marketing?
The beauty of affiliate marketing is that you don’t need to create a product or a service for it to sell. But, of course, no sense in selling a product or service which you don’t like or believe its usability.
So, keep in mind that it should be something that you like or something that gives benefit not just for you but for your audience as well. Because the product or service will just lose its marketability if you don’t believe in it.
So, how does affiliate marketing works?
Some companies have an affiliate program that anybody can join in. They provide this link which the blog owner or affiliate can use to share it for his audience. The consumers then use this link which is programmed to track the sale made by the affiliate.
This can get technical because it involves a platform or a network that the merchant uses to keep track of their sales. They use a file called an affiliate cookie who makes all the tracking work. Through this cookie, it is ensured that the sale is attributed back to the affiliate so that it can earn its commission. But the good news is that as for you, you don’t need to program a network just so you can use affiliate marketing. As mentioned, there are companies that provide an affiliate program that will help sell their product or service. All you need to do is acquire that referral link through the program and display it on your blog site.
- Imagine this, you as a blog owner has a product to review because it was something that you find useful, or helpful, or even interesting. So you endorse it to your followers and promote it because you believe that this product has great benefits.
- As a reader or follower of the blog, his interest is piqued and decided to check out the said product so he can make a purchase. A referral link is then used to redirect him to the third party who sells the product or service. The affiliate then earns a profit through the referral link.
It follows a consistent format and the process is the same regardless of the product or service the affiliate is promoting.
How do we start?
1. Attract a specific audience
To start monetizing your blog through affiliate marketing, first, keep in mind of your niche. This will be your blog’s main theme and selling point. It also makes it easier what products or services you can promote in your site that can attract a specific audience. Be careful as well what products or services to promote and what companies to endorse. You don’t want to come across as someone who just wants to earn an income and take advantage of your audience’s willingness to buy anything you promote.
Which is why it’s important to identify your niche, something that you know so well. That way, when it comes to the promotion of products and services, you have full knowledge of what it does and what it offers. You, then create a relationship with your audience because they trust you and rely on your judgment.
However, ensure that there is a demand for this niche. Because regardless if it’s something you love, there’s no use promoting it if no one has a demand for it. You may want to find something that you like and at the same time has a high demand.
In becoming an affiliate, it is expected that you have used and like the product or service that you are promoting in your blog. It is fair to say that you’re confident that your audience will also find this product useful and beneficial for themselves as well. So, you decided to share it and give positive feedback about the product or service.
2. Social Media Advantage
Apart from blogging about your product or service, you can also use social media as your platform. Take advantage of the number of people who are on social media and who are online constantly.
Don’t forget to create interesting and high-quality content for your audience. Yes, your readers and followers are expected to read all your posts and reviews about a certain product. But if you want to be noticed and to stand out, you may want to create content other than an in-depth review of the product you’re promoting. You may want to make a video as a teaser or infographics to show them how to maximize a product. Create something that is bound to capture not just your audience’s attention but others as well.
Another option to try is to make bonus content especially if the affiliate program allows it to give more value to the product or service you’re promoting. Include there something exclusive for your readers, or step-by-step guide, or side-by-side comparison with other products, or even discounts.
3. Find an affiliate program
The next thing to do in affiliate marketing is to find an affiliate program that you can join. Since you already established your niche as the selling point for your chosen platform, of course, you’ll go find a program that sells the products you want to promote.
It helps to be familiar with the policies of the potential affiliate program. You’d want to go over their guidelines, marketing tools, other affiliates in their program, and incentives they provide for their consumers.
Do not just go for an affiliate program that will give you a high commission. Make sure that whoever you affiliate with, it’s aligned with your brand and personal interest.
4. Place the affiliate link
Next is adding the affiliate link to your blog or website. You have browsed through several affiliate programs that you think will be suitable for your brand. Some affiliate programs provide banners and other marketing collaterals to the affiliate to visibly promote their product. But as the blog or website owner, it’s up to you how to place it strategically so that it will be visible to your readers and audience.
By adding an affiliate link, you will need to exercise caution with this one. Of course, since you want to build a trusting relationship with your audience you don’t want to come across as someone who just wants their money or someone who can trick them into buying something with no value for their money. This is why some affiliate sites include disclaimers wherein you are disclosing that the link you provided will redirect them to another third-party site and that you will earn something from that referral. You may want to add this disclosure as discreetly as you can. This is just to assure your audience that you are promoting a trustworthy business and to assure your blog or website’s safety.
Be transparent with your transactions. This way you are guaranteed that your readers and followers trust you.
5. Build communication with your audience
With your blog or website now running and your product ready to get promoted, established traffic to your site. It’s easy if you already have a huge following and loyal readers but if you want to expand more your audience you will need to build communication with your audience so that you are ensured that they’ll be coming back for future transactions.
- In affiliate marketing, building an emailing list can help you inform your audience of your promotions and other exclusive content.
- It can also help you to make follow-ups with people which will encourage them to keep coming back and from there you can build a lasting relationship.
It can be extra challenging if your blog or website hasn’t established a huge following yet. So when you create an email list, you may need to –
- persuade your readers and other potential audience to sign up by offering them something valuable. This will help them see and check out how your product or service can be beneficial to them.
- You may also add a subscription link or button on your site so that your readers can sign up for your updates and promotions.
Here are other ways to promote a product or service in affiliate marketing.
- You may opt to give free previews or demos for your product. Include bundles like free e-books or PDF files that they can download and further understand what your product or service is. Depending on what product you’re promoting, there’s no limit on what type of offer you can give. So apart from readable materials, you can offer downloadable media or applications which will be like a supplement to your product. This kind of approach is especially helpful if you already have a reputable business or site because generating an income through this approach is relatively slow.
- You can also try to promote your product or service through an online course or a video tutorial. A lot of people are visual and have a preference for seeing an actual product or service being tested than just by reading through a review. There several web hosts that can help you start an online course or tutorial. Some companies with affiliate programs also offer these web hosts to their affiliates as a way of endorsing their products.
- To maximize the benefits of affiliate marketing, ensure that what you are promoting is not a commodity. Meaning, it’s not something that your readers and followers can buy anywhere or easily obtained. Make your audience crave for something that it’s not simply found in their local stores or markets and that the only way they can have the product is through your site.
- As an affiliate, you don’t want to limit your audience range. If you want to earn more, don’t limit your services to a specific place or time zone. Especially if you have established your business through your blog or website. Take advantage of expanding your platform globally if you want to generate more income particularly if it’s something that they can also use or something that is beneficial for them.
In conclusion, your goal here is to establish a business that both appeals to your niche and your audience. It can be challenging to earn money online given the competition and the perils of making online transactions. But that shouldn’t hold you back. Neither is the idea of limiting your creative aspect or personal interests because through affiliate marketing you can still have those while monetizing your blog. There’s not much limitation on what you can do in this platform as this allows you to promote something that you truly believe in.
Like any other business, it takes time to build a reputable image online. This is not something that can happen in an instant. You will need to work your way up and established a huge following to make this work and to make your promotion stand out amidst the competition.
- As you expand your business, don’t forget to build lasting relationships with your followers.
- Apart from a product or service that they like to avail, be honest, and be transparent with all of your transactions and this should make them come back to you.
- Set new goals and just continue to try out anything that will be helpful for your site. Be patient and surely this will be rewarded in the end.